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The Authors take a hint from recent observation of two patients with hepatocellular carcinoma presenting with obstructive
jaundice to analyse the litterature and their clinical cases.
They conclude that in the evolution of hepatocellular carcinoma can be found “early” or “late” jaundice. The latest is
hepatocellular and/or obstructive jaundice and it is harbinger of fatal prognosis because of a big hepatocelluar carcinoma
that has invaded biliary tree and/or liver failure by concomitant cirrhosis.
The “early” jaundice appears when the tumor is still small and it is always obstructive due to intrabile duct tumor
growth. This kind of jaundice has a good prognostic meaning because, together with imaging techniques, permits an
early diagnosis of the hepatocellular carcinoma necessary for satisfactory palliation or occasional cure.